Applying an Integrated Urban Model in the Evaluation of Travel Demand Management Policies in the Sacramento Region: Year Two

Applying an Integrated Urban Model in the Evaluation of Travel Demand Management Policies in the Sacramento Region: Year Two


In this study, the authors apply an integrated land use and transportation model, the Sacramento MEPLAN model, to evaluate transit investment alternatives combines with supportive land use policies and pricing policies in the Sacramento region. The current study builds upon the year-one study (Johnson et. al., 2000) in two important respects. First, the study employs a second version of the Sacramento MEPLAN model that explicitly represents floorspace consumption in the land use component of the model. Second, the transit, land use and pricing policies evaluated in the year-two project as expanded and refined in this study in response to the recommendations of local interest groups and the results of the year-one report. Finally, the evaluation of the scenarios is expanded to include total benefit and equity measures



Robert A. Johnston is Professor of Environmental Science and Policy and a Faculty Researcher at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California at Davis. Current consulting involves the evaluation of regional travel demand models for public and private clients, reviews of environmental assessments of large projects, and the development of methods for projecting environmental carrying capacity at the national level.

Johnston's current research projects include the evaluation of transportation policies using advanced regional travel demand models. The mode choice models have been modified to permit the projection of traveler net benefits (surplus) for each scenario, broken down by household income class. He also is performing research using an integrated urban model of the Sacramento region. This model simulates land markets and travel behavior,  which permits the projection of the interactions between land uses and travel demand. This model allows the assessment of locator surplus, by household income class.

Related projects are the linking of the integrated urban model to a GIS-based model, which produced detailed land use maps. These maps are then used with other data layers to perform environmental impact assessments. Another project is a comparison of three integrated urban models on the same datasets for the Sacramento region.

Recently completed work includes financial and economic evaluations of regional transportation alternatives, including ITS roadway and transit scenarios. Current work includes performing long-range (50-year) analyses of sustainable development scenarios for the Sacramento region using an urban model and GIS, in conjunction with business and citizens groups. He is also adapting the GIS to make it interactive and run on a PC, for single-county land development scenario testing.

Professor Johnston sits on state and regional advisory committees for transportation and air quality planning agencies and has been a member of a local transportation commission. He reviews articles and grant proposals for several organizations and has published over 60 refereed articles and book chapters. He has given invited talks at many conferences and universities and has been a faculty member-in-residence at the University of Iowa. He is a member of the TRB Transportation and Land Development Committee and heads the Sustainable Communities Consortium at UC Davis.


September 2001


Travel demand management
Urban development
Urban planning
Vehicle miles of travel
Vehicle monitoring